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Unread 11-09-2006, 15:08   #1
Mark Gleeson
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Default [10-9-2006] 12:30 Cork Dublin

A week on from the last fun incident we try again

So seat booked on the 12:30 Cork Dublin, well from Thurles to Dublin. Show up Thurles, PA is made train is 6 minutes late, 9 minutes late infact

Train rolls in and its packed, I'm standing at the door for coach C as the train halts and the train manager appears on the platform and tires to herd us to the rear of the train

Now at this point I'm rooted to the spot at coach C and I argue I have a reserved seat, no I'm told there are people sitting in them.

Now I'm lucky and grab a seat in coach G at the back. Luggage was thrown everywhere blocking all the doors on the toliet side of the coach, safety violation central, the luggage racks strangely empty

The PIS seems to be working but all the maps bar one in either coach D or C was showing the train still in Cork. The seat reservation system was working, well there were names in coach C, none match me. The fact someone offered 72 seats in coach B didn't help, coach B is the buffet with 30 odd seats

So I bump into the train manager, who does have the list of all passengers and there seats and I'm on it, so why am I in the bumpy seats in coach G? Seat reservations don't work on the MK4 train, hmm worked for me last time I booked on a MK4, train manager thankfully doesn't match my name with P11, it more fun that way

Ride was utterly dire, a constant vibration so bad at times that the trim would vibrate. There was a werid forwards and backwards rocking motion. Its a bit like being in a small boat in a swell, nothing sudden but uncomfortable.

Upside was on time arrival Heuston apart from that nothing good to say about it

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 11-09-2006 at 15:20.
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Unread 11-09-2006, 15:49   #2
Jister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson

Ride was utterly dire, a constant vibration so bad at times that the trim would vibrate. There was a werid forwards and backwards rocking motion. Its a bit like being in a small boat in a swell, nothing sudden but uncomfortable.
Are there people puking on these things?
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Unread 11-09-2006, 16:04   #3
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Yet to see someone but its only a matter of time its getting worse every journey I make. Its not reached the point of dangerous yet but given the decay in ride quality over the last 3 months I think the worst has yet to come
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Unread 11-09-2006, 18:36   #4
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Question for Mark G:

have you ever taken a 29K on the Sligo line?

If so, how does the CDE ride compare?
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Unread 11-09-2006, 23:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean
Question for Mark G:

have you ever taken a 29K on the Sligo line?

If so, how does the CDE ride compare?
Never been a Mk4 to Sligo so I can't say, never been on a 29000 at 90 mph either. I've been to Maynooth and Newbridge by 29000 and to be fair its fairly decent when you hit a bump you feel it there is no vibration no forward and back motion, 29000 is firm and heavy MK4 is floating strange both are within a ton the same weight
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Unread 12-09-2006, 17:15   #6
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I just hope IE and CAF fix this fairly soon though. The ride should be pretty comparable to the MK3 once everything's adjusted correctly!

The British Rail MK4 had similar issues when it launched and their flirtation with real high speed, the APT genuinely did make passengers throw-up, so much so that it got terrible press which possibly played a strong part in its abandonment.

I wonder did the early MK3s have issues too in the UK? Their suspension seems to be very well tuned to poor quality rails. I'd imagine this was achieved over a few months or longer of tweaks and modifications given that that's how engineering tended to be done in those days, you couldn't and still can't model everything.

I also suspect this is part of the hazard of Ireland's non standard guage too. We can't just pick a standard model off the shelf that's tried and tested.

However, IE seem too fond of the "frankentrain" i.e. a a non atriculated TGV with weird bogies and a fright loco at one end to Belfast and now the Cork-Dublin Express which really ought to have a pair of power cars.
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Unread 12-09-2006, 21:27   #7
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Mark G's probably going to have a fit when he reads this post but what the hell

My take on this is that CAF screwed up. For the second time. The first was with the 29ks.

I know they're the most reliable trains in the Ireland, the British Isles, Europe and probably half the Galaxy, and that they were commissioned for a completely different purpose, but their ride is awful and I still see some paralells between the Sligo 29k and the Cork Mk4 situations. Ever try a 29k racing along what must be really rubbish track on the Sligo line? It's has to be experienced to be believed, the cold crappy interior, the engine noise but above all, the ride quality which resembles a see-saw at best. Words cannot express the difference in ride quality between the Mk2d coaches and the 29k.

Given this experience, and my mistrust of CAF's ability to make a suspension that works in Ireland, I always worried that the ride might also be crap on the CDE. So this doesn't surprise me.

Now, here's my question. If they could make trains that stood up straight and had suspensions that did the business in 1972, why is Irish Rail having such a hard time matching 1972 ride quality standards in 2006 with all the supposed advances in railway technology since then?

Last edited by sean : 12-09-2006 at 21:53.
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Unread 12-09-2006, 23:48   #8
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Sadly, although perhaps not as dramatically, the ride quality of the new trains in the UK has been generally diabolical too. Many people far prefer the old MK3 HSTs over the modern Virgin Voyagers and the like. At least these new CAF trains are relatively pleasant on board. The new stuff in the UK has generally a feeling of clostrophobia about it.

Seems that they've forgotten how to make a smooth and comfortable train!

I think the ride issues will be resolved though. I just hope IE are making sure that CAF work on this. It's unacceptably bumpy and should be a warrenty issue.

I've been on the 29Ks and the MK4 and the ride's totally different. The 29Ks sea-saw for no apparent reason. The MK4 doesn't feel like a poorly designed suspension system, more that there is something more serious underlying how it is interfacing with the track. There was a constant vibration and shudder and the suspension seemed to be working to compensate a lot of it. Also the sea-sawing on the MK4 wasn't side to side it's end to end! Seems to be more of a jolt passed along the train.

Last edited by MrX : 12-09-2006 at 23:54.
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Unread 13-09-2006, 08:27   #9
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Sean would you care to compare a 2600 vs a 29000

then you'll see desperate ride quality
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Unread 13-09-2006, 12:29   #10
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Default On an optimistic note---

The CDE ride has, on occasion, been quite acceptable. This demonstrates to me that there is some kind of a configuration issue or other underlying problem rather than a fundemental flaw with the train itself.

I wouldn't see how it's not CAFs fault though as they did design the mechanical aspects of the damn thing!

There's no point in complaining about the 201 loco causing the issue. The simple fact is that this should have been taken into account in the design of the train and resolved through appropriate coupling etc. IE specified that they were using the 201 locos from day one the designers should have made certain that there were no strange interactions with the loco. You can't blaim IE or GM for that, the locos are fine and doing their job as per their specification the train clearly isn't.

To say that the trains are not happy with their locos or with the irish tracks is to say that CAF didn't do their job properly at the design stage. Simple logic being they were ordered to partner 201 locos + run on the cork-dublin line. If they're incapable of doing this without jumping all over the place, someone ought to be looking for their money back!

Despite all the complaints about the 201 on this board, they do their job extremely reliably on all IE services. The enterprise is again, a case of poor specification and overloading of the loco's HEP function. Lets not forget *ALL* Irish trains other than the enterprise generate their own power the loco simply provides the motive force.

I strongly suspect you could count the number of failed non enterprise trains, caused by the 201s on your hand since their introduction. They're pretty reliable other than when misused.

These trains should simply do exactly what they were supposed to do in the spec. No arguments, excuses or pussyfooting about should be accepted. They're very expensive peices of kit and we shouldn't have to settle for poor ride. I just hope that IE get value for money out of them and insist that these issues are resolved.

Could you imagine what would happen if Boeing delivered a load of 737s to Ryanair and they caused air sickness due to some configuration issue? I don't think they'd be getting warm fuzzy phonecalls from micheal o'leary somehow.

This is tax payers money and we deserve to get these things sorted out!

Last edited by MrX : 13-09-2006 at 12:40.
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Unread 13-09-2006, 13:28   #11
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There are rumors going around that the bogies on the MK4 trains will need to be stripped down and have a lot of parts replaced since they can't hack it

There are some werid design issues with the coaches, the bogies have different unsprung masses, the lighter one is under the toilet end makes no sense to me. Interior panels have popped out at least twice in the last 2 weeks, there have been at least 3 suspension failures. The parking brake has gone wrong at least twice. The PIS system is a disaster. Last but not least I'm not impressed with the door mechanism looks a bit weak

I can't confirm the exact issues but the solutions seem to me to be the most basic engineering, i.e. they should already be in place in the first place, talking lock nuts split pins and the like here
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Unread 13-09-2006, 13:38   #12
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Well one could understand the panels poping out given the amount of shaking that's going on. Shouldn't happen though!

Incidently, I was on a MK3 recently and the light shade over the door at one end of the coach fell down on a passenger as it hit a bump!

I assume CAF will simply have to fix it at their expense.

Also, this really ought to be a showpiece for CAF if they hope to bid any other major projects for intercity coaching in the UK in particular. If they make a hash of this it won't look good for them

Has the enterprise ride issue been resoved at all? or is it as bad as ever?

Last edited by MrX : 13-09-2006 at 13:41.
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